16 May, 2012

An Unpleasant Showertime Discovery

I was recently troubled to step into the shower and see, on the damp concrete floor at my feet, a slender floret of broccoli. On the scale of disgusting things one might encounter in the shower, this ranked well above a stranger’s abandoned sliver of soap, and well below a stranger’s bodily fluid. Broccoli in the shower scores approximately five on my ten-point Gross-O-Meter.

The offending piece of flora laid a few feet from the shower head, halfway to the stall door, so I was not compelled to kick it away before I bathed. Doing so would have meant its coming into contact with my shower shoe, which seemed tantamount to directly touching it — too nasty a prospect to countenance. Instead, I kept an eye on it. You know, just to be sure it didn’t silently float my way on any pooling water.

As a recovering germaphobe, I’m acquainted well with the type of analytical brain-wracking in which things’ provenances are deduced. Nothing gets my gears turning at quite the same velocity as manic speculation about whence a suspicious object came and how many E. coli-smeared hands caressed it along the way. My list of theories about the nonfungal, nonbacterial plant matter (i.e., the broccoli) lying on the floor of a prison shower was short but nevertheless displeasing. Unless someone had been scarfing down vegetable medley while lathering up (not implausible, in light of the strange behaviors on display here), it was probably left by an uncouth, careless dishwasher. My chief suspects are the four individuals in this wing who occupy the communal laundry closets half the morning, washing their faces and brushing their teeth over the clothes wringer.

One of these days I may decide to ask the closet-bathers to let me scrub my underwear clean in their sinks, since they clearly aren’t using them. On that day, though, I merely stepped around the broccoli and toweled dry. Exiting the stall, I left it laying. Better, I figured, to keep my hands unsullied and run the minute risk of the next guy thinking I was in there enjoying some stir-fry. I’ve been blamed for worse.


  1. Aaron Vermeulen21 May, 2012 01:47

    Oh you so funny!!! I love reading your stories!

  2. Gross! Although better broccoli then cauliflower - at least it was easily visible. The worst I've ever seen personally is a discarded band-aid in a campground shower stall.

    1. You would not survive a girl's dormitory.

      You would not survive women's public restrooms.

      Blood. Pads. Ineffective policies. Forgetting to throw things away. Bleeding everywhere and ignoring clean-up.

      Your broccoli is child's play in comparison.


Byron does not have Internet access. Pariahblog.com posts are sent from his cell by way of a secure service especially for prisoners' use. We do read him your comments, however, and he enjoys hearing your thoughts very much.